CELTIC new Bhoy Lee O’Connor has been called up by Republic of Ireland for their friendly encounter against New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium tomorrow night.

The versatile defender, who arrived from Manchester United on transfer deadline day, will play at right-back.

O’Connor is available for selection because he is banned for the Under-21s qualifier away to Armenia.

But he will return to Stephen Kenny’s squad ahead of the key game against Sweden in Tallaght on Tuesday.

International boss Mick McCartthy, speaking to the Irish Mirror. said of the 19-year-old who can also play centre-half: “He’s been fine, he trained yesterday on a bigger pitch, not just a small-sided game, and Lee was good.

“He looks to be settling in. You ask them how they’re doing and they say: ‘Yeah, I’m great’. But you’ve no idea how they are doing until they have their feet in water.”

McCarthy will field an experimental line-up against the Kiwis as he protects his key players ahead of the crucial Euro 2020 qualifier against Denmark on Monday.

O’Connor was tipped for the top at Old Trafford, but, like Jeremie Frimpong at Manchester City, was keen to join the eight-in-a-row champions.

The 18-year-old Dutch sensation has played five first-team games – winning the lot with a goal ratio of 22-2 – while O’Connor is bidding his time.

He has been mainly playing in centre of the rearguard where he is in direct competition with £7million man Christopher Jullien and Norwegian international Kiristoffer Ajer for a top-side slot.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author